St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series)

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9781566631501: St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series)

“Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character....I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization.”―Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe. “Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them....I find them hard to stop reading.”―Richard Bernstein, New York Times. “Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise.”―Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal. These brief and enlightening explorations of our greatest thinkers bring their ideas to life in entertaining and accessible fashion. Philosophical thought is deciphered and made comprehensive and interesting to almost everyone. Far from being a novelty, each book is a highly refined appraisal of the philosopher and his work, authoritative and clearly presented.

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Augustine's struggles with sex and a domineering mother, followed by his spiritual crisis and conversion to Christianity - detailed in his Confessions - ultimately led him to his major contribution to philosophy: the fusion of the two doctrines of Christianity and Neoplatonism. This not only provided Christianity with a strong intellectual backing but tied it to the Greek tradition of philosophy. In this way Christianity managed to keep the flame of philosophy burning, however dimly, through the Dark Ages. Augustine also produced important philosophic ideas of his own, including theories of time and subjective knowledge that anticipated by many centuries the work of Kant and Descartes. In St. Augustine in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of St. Augustine's life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from St. Augustine's work; a brief list of suggested reading for those who wish to push further; and chronologies that place St. Augustine within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

About the Author:

Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.

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